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Dignitary
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: 13 Feb 2000, 11:18 am

Post 02 Aug 2014, 6:32 pm

Thank you Kal, for the invitation to this game and your work as GM. I appreciated getting the moves and results maps, too. If only I could also have gotten everybody's orders before you did....alas!

Anyway, I came into the game at the end of 1902, only to find that
a. the Egyptian Kingdom was in a mess
b. Egyptian Diplomacy was in a mess
c. Egypt's diplomats had fled town in the night

So first order of business was to dust off the writing desk and set to rebuilding communications. Everybody was friendly enough, but they all felt their current relationships were sufficient and thanks for stopping by. Rome was sympathetic and feeling somewhat isolated, as well. Not much we could do for each other. Well, if he writes an EOG, he can speak for himself. But my assessment was that he did not trust the Carthaginians as his somewhat ally. It was no secret to anybody - including Egypt - that Egypt and Persia had a thing going.

In fact, they more or less admitted it in their discussions with me. Okay. Carthage, who professed to being anti-Egyptian at the start, was happy to see me "survive" as a buffer state - I suppose it did not take a genius to figure this part out - but he exacted a price, of course, which meant losing a few centers. Without support and additional units, I also lost centers to Persia. My writings to Greece were actually answered most of the time and I found the Greek Government to be friendly, sympathetic and bordering on helpful. Alas, he could not switch sides at this time. There was just not enough extra support. And let's face it: Egypt was in the worst position of all. As John later wrote, Egypt should have been eliminated long ago. Of course! But that was not my goal.

My goal was:
a. to keep Egypt from getting eliminated right away
b. to find any kind of weakness in any of the relationships
c. to try and exploit the weakness to Egypt's benefit
d. to try and gain an active ally
e. to gain as much as possible

Well, I did manage to reach goals A and B and parts of C and D. I have already noted elsewhere that my best hope, given the inability to do anything about Persia, was to hope Carthage would see Egypt as a good buffer state and support for Carthaginian fleets into the E Med. At the same time, I changed my diplomacy with Greece and Persia. Greece had been trying to help Egypt in an indirect way, maybe more out of his concern about Persia. However, I did mostly reject his suggestions on the basis that I was not sure if he was setting me up. But I decided to write to each one using the following positions:

Egypt would become a wall formidable, an unbreakable line that could only be crossed by sea. In short, I told Persia he can hurl his armies against me for the next 100 years and get nowhere, or find a new direction to expand. Naturally, I told Greece that Persia was going to soon get pissed off at his inability to expand and will likely lash out in a new direction. Therefore, this would be a good idea to stab him. But Persia struck first.

Naturally, I was very happy about this, though in the long run, I was not able to exploit the situation, because Persia had lots of units to leave hanging around me. I was trying to get Carthage to hurry up and get his damned fleets to the East, but he felt unconvinced or unconcerned. Perhaps he will explain. In any event, he did not trust Egypt enough to give me room to maneuver, but he did provide his "support" for my defense. I tried to convince him to start convoying into Greece, at least.

I know he and Rome were not getting along, though Carthage seemed to be looking at Rome as some kind of buffer, though I'm not sure about that. I did get the impression that he was playing overly cautious and did not seem to want to expand fast enough for a solo.

I think by this time (1906?), players were getting the bogged down feeling. Greece was trying to hold off the Persians and grab as much of Italy as possible before the Carthaginians could. The situation in the Med was mostly saber-rattling, or rather, spear-rattling, as everybody pushed around the water but rarely came to blows. I suppose this was going to be a real land-based game.

Persia's long silence was bothering everybody. After Rome was eliminated, Greece started the calls for ending the game, giving it to Carthage as the obvious future winner. However, I did not disagree in the notion that Carthage could have gone on to win, even IF Greece was not going to not defend his centers. He was quite emphatic that there was no reason to continue and that victory was inevitable. So I made the argument that he was only 2 ahead of Persia and that Persia could make a real competition for it, should he choose to do so. I was also hoping to provoke Persia into responding, so I included him in my emails to everybody.

But, not surprisingly to me, Carthage declined the offer to go for a solo. This made Greece's overtures moot. There was no reason to vote a concession. In any event, I hate conceding until there really is no hope. In this situation, I felt that given a concerted effort on people's parts, Carthage could have been stopped. What would that left us? Well, it might have led to a stalemate at that point, without a clear leader. I felt bad, however, about ending a game while 80% of the players were still active.

Had Persia said he was in for the race, I might even have tried to go to his side and fight against the Carthaginian, just to keep him from getting the solo. Not that I WANTED Persia to win, mind you. I was still hoping to find that mysterious wedge that would allow Egypt to expand and TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! Okay, it was silly. But I wanted Carthage to really earn his victory if that is what he wanted to do. I reckon he felt he proved what he set out to do and that was good enough. Sometimes, that is. He was happy with a DIAS. I felt I had made my point and did not oppose it, in the end.

In spite of the heated discussions and the strange and mysterious lack of countries not falling all over themselves to bust up their alliances to join the Egyptian Society of World Domination, I enjoyed the game. I liked the challenge of trying to take Egypt from a lost cause to a serious contender. Didn't quite get there, but it wasn't a lost cause, either.

Danivon: Always good to see you across the table, but sorry you got on the short end this time around. Still, I appreciate your views of the game and they were helpful.

Javilon: Also great to run into you again, though I don't understand why you let the negotiations fall by the wayside or not try harder to turn me when there was opportunity. But your play kept me buttoned up well, unfortunately! I just could not get back at you, you rat! :)

Israel: It was a strange kind of "alliance", and I believe I was really nothing more than a convenient
Janissary for Carthage, though I was not sure what your plan was. I sure wish you had played more aggressively (against the other players), just to see how it would have turned out.
I do appreciate you deciding to not eliminate the Egyptian, or at least take part in a Persian-Carthaginian feast. It made me think that maybe you and he had something going, so I was hoping to play that up, somehow. I do admit I found it hard to understand what your goals were from time to time, but I did realize Egypt was never a REAL ally of Carthage, just a good buffer zone. You seemed hesitant to engage in naval contests or expansion, especially towards the East, though I moved my fleet up to help. Well, I admit I could have handled that part better. Anway, I did think you might have been in over your head at first, but I came to realize you did have some kind of plan. It wasn't what I thought, though. I look forward to your EOG statement to see how totally wrong I was about so many things! In any event, I look forward to pushing the wooden blocks across the map of Europe with you in the future.

John: You were a good Greece and it's too bad that Persia stabbed you before you could get around to stabbing him. Had you done so and it worked out, we might have traded stories over the camp fire, feasting on shish kabobs in the ruins of Persepolis! Still, I appreciate your letters and willingness to throw this poor Egyptian a few bones here and there. You did have a tough position to play once Persia turned. Of course, you noted to me that Egypt should have been eliminated long ago, like right after I joined. Well, I think the same thing could have been said for Rome. Too bad you and Carthage could not agree on a plan to divide an conquer it. You were right in the sense that, once Persia stabbed you, the way for Carthage was open and little could be done to stem the tide, though I wonder if your negotiations with Carthage could have gone better? Of COURSE they could have, so I'll wait to see what you guys say.

IN CONCLUSION...
Thank you all for a very interesting game! I'm glad I was able to step in and at least keep the momentum going for everybody. Maybe that was good enough for a replacement Egypt. I'm looking forward to your EOG statements and how totally wrong I was in many of my conclusions.

And thanks again, Kal. You're a fine GM and a pleasure to work with. If any of you get to Minneapolis, let me know and I'll stand you to a fine pint of Guinness and a plate of fish & chips at our nice local "british" pub.

Did everybody notice that a new game of Standard is forming up (Belated Spring)? A few positions are still open, I think.
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Adjutant
 
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Joined: 25 Mar 2014, 8:12 pm

Post 02 Aug 2014, 9:45 pm

(First of all, sorry for any error in the message, my english is poor, and the message is long.)

Ask to Kal how many times I changed my orders, all of them attacking you in Memphis and Alexandria. Some regret kept you alive, besides the possibility of a Persian Egyptian alliance that put me in serious danger in Africa, and in the heart of my dominions. The African front was the weak part of the Carthaginian effort of war. And keep the zone in a peaceful state was a priority for me.

My plan was simply make buffers around Carthage. I always played trying to act like the balance of the map. I told this many times to Greece, and I think one or two times to you. I just changed this policy when Rome fall down. And the fall of my roman ally really was a hard hit for me.

The reason of my lack of interest in expand me towards east: first, the existence of a dynamic Persian fleet. Second, some insecurity about Greece and Egypt. Besides, I fought with myself in a problem that pursue me like a shadow: the dispersion of units and the unsecurity of my borders. My first and most important objetive was obtain "natural borders" for Carthage, and keep my forces together as possible for to enhance their defensive / offensive habilities.This implies a limited expansion. Besides I'm a very cautious player, too much as everybody has seen.

The reason of reject a solo: I felt that In the last turns these "problem" becomes to take relevance, specially when I saw my fleet acting like armies, in Cirene, Neapolis and (if the game had continued) in Rome. "Fleet in land Fleet sunk" is one of my principles in diplomacy. Of course, I could remedy this problem with the new builds, but a turn wasted is a sentence of death in this game.

Besides a solo just focus the animosity of the players on you, and generally, if you have not a strong enough position (as I thought I hadn't) just come a disaster that "quench with your blood" your ambition. Is not the first time that I resign a solo position: with Russia and with Turkey, happened the same, long time ago, with 17 and 16 SC. In other hand I thought that was unjust pursue a solo when the other players would deserve reach the "EOG point" with me. I've not a soloist mentality, I prefer play with a partner. By these reason my diplomacy suffered a crisis when Rome collapsed and was really horrible to me stab him and take his SC. I felt the fall of Rome as a fault of Carthage. The lack of interest of Rome in the game lately relieved a bit these fault.

Egypt was not an ally, is true. But was a very efficient buffer and an instrument of discord. I thought as well that If Persia could not get a way of expansion towards west, the stab to Greece was unevitable. Egypt proved to be a good neighbor when the pharaoh's message thinking in the same way was read by the council. Besides the pharaoh was a good counselor, and for these reason I thought Egypt would deserve to survive until the EOG.

The almost desperated messages of Egypt telling me about a Greek - Persian alliance and how they were using me came to late, and just confirmed my suspicions. In these times, before the persian stab, I just played in defensive positions, expecting the worst. I knew that the only power with some chance of resistance were Carthage, but my forces were not enough for a direct fight. By these reason the "super" evident defensive position that I tried to create with Rome and Egypt. I deposited many expectation in the "Nile wall", and my expectations were widely satisfied.

Regarding Greece, undoubtebdly Carthage had defended Greece, using the country, one more time, as a buffer against Persia. I never had accepted his complete defeat. Because it had been unjust and very inconvenient. For these reason and just against my will, I accepted take his SC, and I would tried to keep some part of Greece until the EOG.

Persia, well, he had been an excellent ally, but something (I do the things in diplomacy trusting just a little in "premonitions") told me that I shouldn't trust in him, and this happened from the beginning of the game. And I was right. I think I could take some lesson of the "Persian Silence" was an excellent maneuver for generate unstability in all the map. I will take note. Unfortunately one of my fault is to speak too much.

I'm really happy to finish this game. This never happened me in the past. But I find this kind of games exhausting or demanding. Anyway, was really a pleasure to play with all of you. And many thanks to Kalvin for GMing "the party".

Israel, I.K.-
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Dignitary
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: 13 Feb 2000, 11:18 am

Post 11 Aug 2014, 6:44 pm

Well, you shouldn't worry too much about any animosity over a solo. It is common for all the losers to get pissed, but it is part of the game, and a lot of the griping is bluster. Otherwise, Greece was right: You were certainly the board leader, but two allied "buffers" on your flank, your best shot was to rush the middle, right across the Med. Or take out one of the buffers and make the play for solo. Enjoyed getting to know you a bit. See you around!
George